Second, choice of formatting making something more magical is just silly. Maneuvers are formatted more like spells than, say, feats because they have more moving parts and double the flavor text, but they could easily be the other way around. Compare:Originally Posted by Complete Adventurer, page 12
Absolute Steel [Stance]
You shift your weight to the back of your feet and hold your blade carefully forward at the ready. Your muscles twitch slightly as you prepare to dodge the next attack you face.
One Iron Heart feat, BAB +5
You gain a +10-foot enhancement bonus to your speed. If you move at least 10 feet during your turn, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn.
A fighter may select Absolute Steel as one of his fighter bonus feats.In case you aren't familiar with ToB maneuvers, I ripped the flavor text and most of the wording for that Leap Attack "maneuver" (the real feat is here, for reference) right out of a 4th level Tiger Claw maneuver, Death From Above, which lets you jump over your opponent and deal +4d6 damage.Leap Attack
Tiger Claw (Boost)
Level: Fighter 2, warblade 2
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
With a war cry, you leap into the air and lift your weapon high overhead. As you arc downward, your weight and momentum lend bonecrushing force to your attack.
Like a thunderbolt, you slam into your foe from above. You leap upon your enemy and drive him into the ground. The impact of your attack gives you extra force, allowing you to score a deadly hit.
To use this maneuver, you must charge an enemy while in the Power Attack stance. As part of this maneuver, you attempt a DC 10 Jump check. If this check succeeds, you can double the extra damage dealt by your use of the Power Attack feat. If you use this maneuver with a two-handed weapon, you instead triple the extra damage from Power Attack. In addition, initiating this maneuver allows you to charge through difficult terrain as you jump over it.
If your Jump check fails, you do not multiply the Power Attack damage, and if you were charging over difficult terrain, you stop in the last square you occupied before reaching that difficult terrain. The maneuver is still considered expended.
Not particularly magical, is it? Does the fact that Absolute Steel Stance is formatted like a feat and Leap Attack like a maneuver suddenly make you feel like Absolute Steel Stance is normal and nonmagical and Leap Attack is a "martial spell"?
And there are more direct examples than that:
Originally Posted by SRDOne feat lets you attack a second target you threaten when you drop the first one, one maneuver (from Iron Heart, which is basically "Fighter Bonus Feats: The Discipline") lets you attack a second target you threaten when you attack the first one. I suppose if you can claim that maneuvers are like spells because there's a maneuver and a spell that both grant a dodge bonus and increased speed, I can claim that maneuvers are like feats because there's a maneuver and a spell that both grant a second attack.Originally Posted by Tome of Battle, p. 69
I like that idea. What if the rogue doesn't get a normal expertise dice progression, but rather all of his maneuvers require a skill check, and succeeding grants you, say, 1 die plus 1 per 3 points by which you beat the DC? The dice would start at 1d4, and every even level the rogue chooses one attribute and increases the die size used with that attribute by one?Originally Posted by Draz74
Sneak Attack might be a Dex + Bluff check against an enemy's AC, so a rogue who rolls an 18 against a target with AC 12 gets +3d4 damage, or +3d8 at 5th level if he chose to increase the die size of Dex-keyed maneuvers at both 2nd and 4th level. A trip attempt might have you roll Str + Sleight of Hand, and if you succeed by 3 points you send your target stumbling 2d4 feet before they fall prone. And so forth.
Combine that with someone's suggestion earlier in the thread to give the monk a per-encounter ki pool that he can use to roll expertise dice with a certain cap per round to differentiate the monk from the rogue and fighter, and that would make the fighter the regular, consistent combatant with his expertise dice allocated at will each round, the rogue the flashy, spiky combatant with his "expertise dice" determined by his skill checks each round, and the monk the impressive, methodical combatant with his expertise dice rationed out each encounter.